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SOF World Report

China Cautions US to Rethink Relations with Taiwan

China says the United States is putting bilateral ties at risk with its recent overtures to Taiwan. A spokesman for the Chinese Defense Ministry told reporters Thursday that Washington should "speak and act cautiously" following the $6.4 billion arms deal between the U.S. and Taiwan.   Beijing has threatened to suspend all military exchanges with the U.S., and impose sanctions on U.S.

Dubai Names 15 More Suspects in Hamas Murder

Dubai Police have announced at least 15 new names wanted for the assassination of former Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who was killed in the United Arab Emirates last month. Officials say the new suspects entered the United Arab Emirates with British, Irish, French and Australian passports and provided "logistical support" in carrying out al-Mabhouh's murder. The 10 men and five women bring the total number of people wanted in connection with the killing to 26, but police say that number could rise. Al-Mabhouh was found dead in one of Dubai's luxury hotels on January 19th.  He had

Greece Paralyzed During Protests Against Austerity Budget

Greek riot police have clashed with demonstrators in Athens on the fringes of major protest marches against government austerity measures.  Tens of thousands of civil servants, private sector workers and laborers staged a 24-hour strike to show their displeasure with the government's plans. For the second time in two weeks, Greece's powerful trade unions and strikers paralyzed the country. Public transport links were almost completely shut down, flights in and out Athens canceled, offices closed and even famous archeological sites such as the Acropolis closed to tourists. Reporter Ant

Deployed Air Commando coordinates air support for missions in Haiti

As part of Operation Unified Response, the U.S. military has moved food, water, medical supplies, and medically evacuated injured citizens and transported military personnel throughout Haiti to meet the humanitarian needs in cities all around the country. Stories of these resupply missions, aid distributions and heroic medical feats have touched the hearts of people around the world ever since the devastating earthquake hit Port-au-Prince Jan.

Turkish Court Charges 7 Military Officers in Coup Plot

A Turkish court has charged and ordered jailed seven senior Turkish military officers for allegedly plotting to overthrow the Islamic-rooted government.  The charges are part of unprecedented investigation into the Turkish army, which has forced four government from office since 1960. Four admirals, an army general and two colonels, some of whom are retired, were ordered jailed while they await trial. They are among nearly 50 senior officers arrested on Monday in connection with an alleged 2003 military plot called "sledgehammer".  Turkish media say the plot included plans to destabilize

Controversy Surrounds Planned Ukrainian Presidential Inauguration

Eleven heads of state and other foreign dignitaries are expected to attend Thursday's inauguration of Viktor Yanukovych as the fourth president of independent Ukraine.  But his defeated opponent, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, refuses to recognize Mr.

Darfur Truce Follows Chad-Sudan Rapprochement

The most powerful Darfur rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement, is scheduled to sign a truce with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir Tuesday in Doha, Qatar. The deal, negotiated in the Chadian capital N'Djamena, was spurred along by the recent pledge from Sudan and Chad to quit fueling the proxy war on their border. The cease-fire is supposed to lay the groundwork for a formal peace deal to be completed by March 15, though a Justice and Equality Movement spokesman told Reuters that such a deadline was unrealistic.

Sustainers improve morale and services for troops in Haiti

Servicemembers throughout Haiti have seen improved morale as a result of several quality of life improvements thanks to 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Soldiers and the rest of the team within Joint Logistics Command - Haiti. While support to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief continues, U.S. forces are now eating food other than MREs, receiving mail, and sending their dirty clothes out for laundry service. The first improvement to morale comes from enjoying meal supplements and "Heater Meals". Examples of meal supplements include shelf-stable milk and fresh fruit.

Airmen rediscover RED HORSE legacy in Haiti

Air Force engineers from the Kansas Air National Guard conducting a routine survey of the field adjacent to the airport in Port-au-Prince discovered a group of Airmen had been there before. While recently leveling the field, Airmen of the 190th Air Refueling Wing and 184th Intelligence Wing noticed the words "820 RHS 94 95 96" on an enormous concrete block. The podium shaped block was so large, engineers driving earthmovers left it in the center of the newly formed 24th Air Expeditionary Group encampment. "Discovering this was a complete surprise to me," s

China Tightens Internet Restrictions

China has tightened its controls on Internet use, requiring anyone who wants to set up a Web site to meet directly with government regulators. The new rules, published by the Technology Ministry this week, also require Web site owners to submit their identity cards and personal photos. A ministry statement says the measures will help the country deal with online pornography.  But human rights defenders say the regulations are just a new form of government censorship. China has about 380 million Internet users, the world's biggest online population.  The government carefully censors th

Zimbabweans Bid to Amend Draconian Security Law

For the first time since an inclusive government was sworn into power a year ago, steps have been taken to amend security legislation that enabled the previous government to detain thousands of people.  Since the government of national unity came to power, the Cabinet made up of ministers from ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change has not repealed any repressive legislation.  Nor has it been able to agree on a program to change the security and media laws that have long been criticized by pro-democracy groups. But proposed legislation will soon be put to parliament to amend secu

Tymoshenko: Ukraine Threatened by Dictatorship

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is refusing to recognize Viktor Yanukovych as the next president of Ukraine, claiming that he is seeking to establish an anti-Ukrainian dictatorship.  In a televised address to the nation on Monday, Ms. Tymoshenko issued a call for a coalition of patriotic and democratic forces to oppose the man who defeated her in the February 7th presidential election.

Thai Political Uncertainty Causes Investor Concern

Thailand's finance minister says the political uncertainty gripping the country could damage economic growth and investor confidence.  Some investors are concerned a Thai Supreme Court verdict against former Thai Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, due later this week could lead to protests that could destabilize the fragile economy. Thai Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij warned Monday that political uncertainties in the country could adversely affect economic growth. Korn's comments come just ahead of a Friday Supreme Court verdict on whether former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is

Kenya's Two Leaders Fail to Meet to End Impasse

Kenya's two warring leaders failed to meet Sunday, despite an earlier pronouncement that they would, as the nation's political impasse drags on. Prime Minister Raila Odinga returned to Kenya on Sunday.  His office had earlier announced he would meet with President Mwai Kibaki to discuss a resolution to the country's weeklong political spat, but Mr. Kibaki's aides later denied the meeting had been set. Instead, Mr.